Iron deficiency anemia

Posted at March 2, 2011 | By : | Categories : Articles | 0 Comment

Anemia is a condition in which the body doesn’t have enough red blood cells to provide oxygen for the tissues.

Iron deficiency anemia is a common anemia in which haemoglobin can’t be formed due to the decreased iron level.

Causes and risk factors:

Iron deficiency anemia is more common in women especially pregnant women and there are many causes for it as:

  1. Blood loss as in GIT or vaginal bleeding
  2. Poor absorption as in celiac or crohns disease

  3. Lack of iron in the diet

Signs and symptoms:

  1. Easy fatigability

  2. Pale skin and mucous membranes

  3. Shortness of breath

  4. Headache

  5. Brittle nails with loss of lustre and koilonychia

  6. Angular stomatitis

  7. Decreased appetite

  8. Tender tongue

  9. Palpitations

  10. Hair loss

  11. Depression

In addition to the signs and symptoms of the cause of the anemia.


To prove anemia: (decreased Hb – RBCs – PCV)

To prove iron deficiency: (decreased MCV – MCH – MCHC – Iron – Serum Ferritin – Transferrin saturation and increased IBC – Free erythrocyte protopotphyrin)

To determine the cause: (Stool for ankylostoma – Occult blood in stool – GIT endoscopy)


  1. Treatment of the cause

  2. Iron supplements (oral with vitamin C to increase absorption, if the patient can’t tolerate that he can take it intravenous)

  3. Blood transfusion in severe cases


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